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19 May 2005, 11:17 am
Turbulent Regatta Ends In Calm Conditions
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ABN AMRO North Sea Regatta 2005
Scheveningen, Netherlands

On Monday 16 May, the ABN AMRO North Sea Regatta 2005 ended in calm conditions, after three days of strong winds and waves. The inshore races for yachts, dinghies, one design classes and beach catamarans started on Friday 13 May in Scheveningen, Netherlands.
About 600 boats in eighteen different classes competed on the North Sea in heavy conditions and low temperatures. It was Foxy, an IMX 40 owned by Sander VOS, that finally won the overall title in IMS 1.

The IMS and ORC competitors could win four prizes: the Houtrustrace on Friday, the Yeoman Challenge Cup on Saturday and Sunday, the Fjellstô Race on Monday and the overall ABN AMRO North Sea Regatta. The competition in IMS 1 was close with top sailors onboard of several yachts. The Satori, a Grand Soleil 45 of Steven BLOM and skippered by three times Whitbread veteran Gideon MESSINK, won the Houtrustrace. On Sunday, they ripped out their main sail before the second start and were out of competition that day. They took their revenge by winning the Fjellstô Race. Checkmate 3, a Bashford H.41 belonging to Peter DE RIDDER, won the Yeoman Challenge Cup with four victories and one second position. Since they did not compete in the Vuurschepenrace and North Sea Race (the offshore races of the ABN AMRO North Sea Regatta) prior to the event in Scheveningen, they had no chance for the overall title. However their performance was steady with a first and two second positions. That was also Foxy's strength, as owner VOS said, 'Our biggest competitors did not sail well in the offshores or did not sail at all. The Satori had bad luck on Sunday, but otherwise it would have been very close. That is a pity.' Foxy came out on top of the ABN AMRO North Sea Regatta 2005 in IMS 1, followed by Harry AMSTERDAM's Yacht Vision and Weerga belonging to the LIEZENGA brothers.

ORC 1 was the best attended class with 42 competitors. Hans Albert DE GRAAF's Moshulu triumphed after four hard days of competition with his principle rivals Bas MEIJER's Twister , A Boen of George BOL and Andre SPORRY's Dehlerious. DE GRAAF commented, 'The competition was strong, but we sailed conservatively and without protests. We were in fifth position on Saturday, so we were surprised by this final result.'

The Laser Standard and Radial had some bad luck with the weather conditions and the starting boat, but finally managed to finish seven races. These Olympic classes were taking part in the ABN AMRO North Sea Regatta for the first time. Marc DE HAAS won convincingly with six victories and said, 'During individual races I had some great duels with Eduardo or Roelof, but most of the times I was far ahead of the fleet. I had a better speed downwind and especially in big waves it is easy to enlarge the lead.' Due to his exceptional performance, DE HAAS also received the ABN AMRO Super Trophy. Gea JUTJENS won the Laser Radial competition, followed by ex-Yngling sailor and Olympian Annemieke BES.

The One-design class saw Enno KRAMER excel. The old Flying Dutchman World Champion crossed the finish line in first and third position on the final day to win the ABN AMRO North Sea Regatta. His brother-in-law Geert MARX triumphed over the MaxFun's 35, onboard Delta Lloyd in a fleet with only five competitors. Speaking of the lower turnout in the class MARX said, 'The reason for this, is that these boats are used for training. Four of us had their training at the Heiner Academy.'

Team ABN AMRO, consisting of bank employees, also competed in the MaxFun 35. They finished in fourth position. Walter GEURTS won the MaxFun 25 cup. Marcel DE JONG took victory in the Yngling. The J22's had some difficulties with the strong current on the last day. At least fifteen boats messed up at the upwind mark. John DEN ENGELSMAN eventually came out on top. Ivo KOK won the J24 Class Championship and Sir ZETSMA went home with the X99 victory.

Due to strong wind or a wrong direction in combination with a high surf, the 91 catamarans stayed ashore for two days. In order to have a valid event, four races were needed. That was the challenge for Monday. The weather conditions were good with 3- 4 Beaufort. It was also a selection event for the F18, with 54 competitors, the biggest fleet of the ABN AMRO North Sea Regatta. They could collect points for participation at the F18 Worlds in Hoek van Holland, Netherlands from 9-16 July. After three races, the fourth had to be cancelled due to a major windshift. The daily winners in the F18, Dart 18, Hobie 16 and Open Class received their prizes during the ceremony.

Race director Max BEHREND speaking about the event said, 'It was heavy, but great. Despite the difficult weather conditions, we have been able to satisfy the competitors and visitors.'

Diana Bogaards (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Foxy:© Richard de Jonge
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